The Leibniz Research Network Bioactive Compounds has two type of awards:

  1. Leibniz Drug of the Year
  2. Research Award of the Leibniz Network “Bioactives“

The Leibniz Drug of the Year will be awarded by the Research Network Bioactive Compounds to honor important research activities in the field of bioactive agents, i.e.:

  • A promising new chemical structure or target
  • Special and new aspects or applications of known bioactive agents
  • Also new procedures of (biotechnological) isolation or production of bioactives

The research results submitted should not be older than 5 years and can be performed either by one scientist individually or a team of up to 5 persons, who were working at a Leibniz Institute at the time the research was done. Both self applications and suggestions of potential candidates are possible. Please submit a one-page rationale (Arial 11 pt) in English along with a pdf-document of the respective achievement (patent, publication, etc.).

All applicants agree to a publication of their names, photographs and application information. The laureate(s) provide(s) information (e.g. pictures, graphics, text material, etc.) and grants copyright free of charge to the Leibniz Association and the Research Alliance for promotion purposes.

The prize winner(s) will receive a medal, a certificate and 2.000 Euro prize money. The laureate(s) will be invited to the next alliance‘s conference “Wirkstofftageto present their work.

Deadline, please email to : 01.12.2023

Announcement Leibniz Drug of the year 2024

The Research Award of the Leibniz Research Network honors outstanding scientific personalities active in a research topic covered by the Alliance. A formal connection or cooperation with a member of the Leibniz Association or the Alliance is not required but valued. The prize includes € 2,000 prize money, a Leibniz medal, a certificate, and an invitation to the next conference “Wirkstofftage covering travel expenses.

Deadline, please email to 01.09.2023

Announcement Leibniz Research Award 2024


Researcher team at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB Halle) awarded

To honor the important field of new biotechnological processes, the Leibniz Research Alliance Bioactive Compounds and Biotechnology awarded the Prize “Leibniz Biotechnology Process 2019”. The research team of Professor Ludger A. Wessjohann and Dr. Martin Dippe at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB) was honored for their work on the sustainable large-scale production process of the bitter-masking flavanone homoeriodictyol (HED).

Homoeriodictyol (HED) represents the active principle of the desert plant Eriodictyon californicum – a medicinal plant already used by indigenous population of Mexico. HED shows a pronounced bitter masking effect, which is why there is great interest in using this natural product in the food and pharmaceutical industries. HED, however, cannot be obtained in sufficient quantities from plant material as Eriodictyon cannot be grown and the wild stocks of the plant are threatened.

The aim of the project was therefore to develop a sustainable process for the large-scale production of HED. Chemically, it is a flavanone biosynthetically derived from the plant ubiquitous precursor naringenin. Naringenin is available in large quantities, it is a cheap, but hardly economically used waste product from press residues of orange juice production. The conversion of naringenin to HED occurs in two enzymatic steps (patents WO2016/050656A1, 15188136.4, WO2016/050656A1). Advantages of the method are that (I) a waste product is biotechnologically upgraded into a high-priced drug, and (II) it does not require the external addition of the above-mentioned costly cofactors, which are taken from the cellular base metabolism.


Die Preise werden vom Leibniz-Forschungsverbund Wirkstoffe und Biotechnologie ausgegeben, verantwortliche Ansprechperson ist der Koordinator/die Koordinatorin, ersatzweise der/die Sprecher/in des Verbundes. Über die Preisvergabe entscheidet ein vom Verbund bestimmtes Komitee. Bei Nichtannahme oder bei der Preisvergabe widersprechenden Erkenntnissen wird zunächst der nachfolgende Vorschlag berücksichtigt. Das Preisgeld wird an den/die verantwortlichen Seniorwissenschaftler/in der preiswürdigen Erfindung vergeben, ersatzweise an den/die Direktor/in des verantwortlichen Instituts, welche/r über die angemessene und beitragsbezogene Verwendung intern frei entscheidet. Dem/der Koordinator/in ist vom Seniorwissenschaftler/in bis Ende des Preisjahres ein Verwendungsschema mit Überweisungsinformationen zu übermitteln. Die minimale Splittung ist € 100,-. Es besteht kein Rechtsanspruch auf den Erhalt des Preises oder des Preisgeldes. Die Entscheidungen sind nicht anfechtbar, der Rechtsweg ist ausgeschlossen.